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A Smoky Summer…

Wednesday, June 28 2023

It’s been a weird summer so far. I got a reminder of that when I stepped outside one recent morning, coffee in hand. I was greeted by a strange sunrise. The sun was just a dim ball of orange hidden in a thick haze. The smell of campfire hung heavy in the air. And we weren’t even camping!

It’s the Canadian wildfires. Our northern neighbors are struggling with one of the worst fire seasons on record. According to Canada’s National Forestry Database, 19.2 million acres have been scorched this year alone. The database has recorded 2,956 wildfires since the beginning of 2023. Apparently, the incredibly dry, windy weather hasn’t helped things either.

Through all the smoky haze, one thing seems clear to me. As outdoor enthusiasts, we have to be smarter about how we use and enjoy our natural resources. For starters, we have to be safety minded.

It’s estimated that 90% of wildfires are caused by us humans. Which means, to a large extent, they’re preventable. (Remember, as kids, Smokey Bear reminded us that only we could prevent forest fires?) Smokey Bear still has some great advice on fire safety right here:

There are other reasons, bigger and more far reaching, to be concerned about forest fires. But we can make a difference in our little neck of the woods…especially if we use common sense.

Build your fire in a designated fire pit.  Keep it under control. Make sure a water source, bucket and shovel are close by. When you put out a fire, make sure it’s out for good. And, of course, clean up all your debris after you’re done.

Let’s enjoy the outdoors as we should—safely and responsibly.

Happy Camping!


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